Senate debates

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


Consideration of Legislation

9:56 am

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

The talks about giving up any pretence. Well, do you know who has stopped pretending? Mr Morrison has stopped pretending even to be Prime Minister. He can't even pretend to be Prime Minister. He's Prime Minister in name only. He's leading a government that is so riven by chaos and division, it has no agenda and no positive plans for the Australian people. If you needed any display of that, have a look at the House yesterday—the first government since 1929 to lose a vote on the floor of the House on its own legislation.

Let's remember the many positions this government has taken on the bill that is before the chamber, or the message that is reported. First Mr Morrison said, 'It's a stupid bill. It's superfluous.' Then this government, in a shameful act, leaked classified national security information in an attempt to undermine it. Then the government whipped out of the Prime Minister's pocket some advice saying it is unconstitutional, and, when the government lost the vote, suddenly it didn't matter again. So one minute it's superfluous and the next it's the end of the world. One minute it's a constitutional crisis and the next it's irrelevant. Do you know what this is? It is a pattern of deceit. It's a pattern of deceit and desperation from a man who is desperate to cling to office, a man who has nothing left but deceit, fear and smear. At least we have had the leaking of classified security information by this government being referred to the AFP. Scott Morrison wants to manufacture a fight because fear is all you lot have left. You can't campaign on your record, because your record is chaos and cuts. You can't campaign on stability, because you're busy fighting each other.


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